I’m In Way Too Deep Into My Characters, Let Me Tell You About Them!

I’ve been tinkering a lot recently with my “character list” or “character bible” or dossier…whatever.

I take my characters pretty seriously. I treat them like humans! This is to get as close as I can to making fully formed characters for their story.

Let me run down all my latest editions. Maybe you will think of new ways to enrich, deepen or explore a new area of your character!

  • All Characters Topic List-A list of questions or goals that I want all characters to generally achieve.
  • Character Design/Physical Design-The logic or basis behind the physical appearances of the characters.
  • Character Loglines-One sentence that describes the character in totality.
  • Character Quote-One quote of spoken dialogue that more or less summarizes the character.
  • Character Intro Paragraph-Sums up the character in one of a few paragraphs, kind of like a speech intro or a brief biography.
  • Background-Details the pasts of the characters to explain some of their present traits or features.
  • Character Themes-Broad or macro ideas that the character is interested in or stands for.
  • Go Deeper-Just going hog wild and listing any extra or deeper details about the character, such as hobbies, favorite foods, favorite clothes, etc.
  • Car-The car the character drives and its features and use in the story.

To me, characters are a key component of a good story. I strive, personally, to make deep and fleshed out characters. This ends up with me composing nearly full lives for the characters, even though they are imaginary!

Not every author has to do this. Some may not want to create all this detail. I believe though, that readers will be impressed and be more invested with a story when they know more and more about characters. Flat characters are less likely to stay in their minds, I think.

Side note: I am currently reading a sci fi story as a beta read for another author. I recently finished “Quiet”. Great book! I am in the middle of reading “Nickel and Dimed” too. It’s such an interesting boots-on-the-ground book about what it’s like to be the working poor in 2004 ish. (That’s more or less the book’s self described blurb at least.)

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please let me know if you have post recommendations for future…posts!

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